Were you raised in a barn?

It’s time for a grumpy old lady post.  (Please wait while I don granny glasses and peer over them with an “I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out of it” expression.)

What is up with kids today?!

I don’t mean all kids, naturally.  I’ve met a number of perfectly well-behaved girls and boys, and we’ve received more than a few compliments on T-man and Bear (for which I’m always exceedingly grateful).  I know there are good kids in the world.

But I’ve met enough of the bad apple sort to wonder what the hell’s going on.

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motor vehicles and the kid effect

I never truly appreciated the simplicity of driving a car from Point A to Point B before I had children.

Driving a car, pre-kids?  Grab keys and purse, buckle up, check gas gauge, choose radio station, and drive.  Done.  Shoot, I might have even had a soda along the way.

But driving post-kids?  It takes an extra 20 minutes to even reach the stupid car.  Suddenly I have to concern myself with everybody’s physical needs (do you need a snack?  have you gone to the bathroom?  will you be warm enough?) before juggling the delicate negotiations of chauffeuring two children at once.  Who got to choose the music last time?  The temperature?  Whether the moon roof was open in the neighborhood?  It’s like walking the high wire with an explosive vest strapped to your chest.

When it comes to driving with kids, this lady gets it.

“Driving in the car with kids is not without its challenges.  Especially because, as a parent, car safety is a huge value.  You want to get from A to B with the least amount of distractions possible, but kids can make that more difficult.  Here are a few of my pet peeves when I’m driving with the kids:

1. When my kids act like it’s a restaurant.  I swear, we can be home for hours, where there is plentiful food in the fridge, and we get in the car for 10 minutes and suddenly they are famished. Starving.  Cannot make it another minute without sustenance.  I am constantly reminding my children that there is no kitchen in the minivan.”

Rage Against the Minivan: Top teen pet peeves while driving in the car with kids.

I swear I’m not sock obsessed

This post will probably make me sound crazy cakes.  Like I’ve got way too much time and energy invested in my kids’ socks.  I guess you’ll just have to take my word that this ranks as only slightly nutty on the scale of wacky parenting moments around here.

We were packing the night before our last trip when I hit this particular bump in the road. Now, some might say waiting until the night before is last minute, and considering I’ve never tried packing farther ahead than that I don’t really have a good counter argument.  For me, the night before is infinitely better than the morning of, so it’s what we do.

At any rate, we were setting out things for suitcases and, since the kids are older now, I handed them each a checklist and told them to pitch in.  Eventually everything migrated to our room where BrightSide and I began what always turns into a complex process of mixing and matching items into bags so nobody will end up naked if a bag gets lost.  Again, it’s the best I’ve got.  If you have a better travel system, I’m all ears.

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Missing Letter Monday: no Q

missing letter banner

No Qs…Ha!  I laugh in the face of this Q-less challenge.

Onward and upward, quickly.  Oops.  I mean quietly – rats.  Let’s just get on with it then. Challenge courtesy of The Mad Grad Student’s Missing Letter Mondays challenge.


My stream of consciousness rant for today:

You know what I’m dying to know?  What’s so freaking impossible about making a sports bra? Frankly, I was stunned to learn that the first sports bra was designed by a woman (Lisa Lindahl, what were you thinking?!).  She was a jogger, so while she was probably in shape I doubt she had Houdini-like skills when it came to getting out of these damn things.  Or getting into them, for that matter.

I’ve often found myself literally stuck, mid process, while struggling into one of my sports bras. It’s a simple enough start – over the head, one arm up and through – and then you hit the dilemma.  You have to start shimmying that thing down your back or you’ll end up with a super strong band of reinforced fabric bunched up around your shoulder blades.  Fabric you can’t reach, which you know if you’ve ever tried to scratch an itch located precisely between your shoulders.  You need to start pulling the bra down, except if you don’t put your second arm through now then the tension is too great to create an armhole to use.

So you end up using a hybrid approach – first arm through, shimmy fabric 1/2 inch down in back, other hand through second armhole, shimmy fabric 1/2 inch more, put whole second arm through only to find it’s stuck at an awkward angle above your head.  Now you’re listing 20 degrees starboard, hand flapping uselessly above your head as you wonder if this is the time you’ll have to call for help before you lose all feeling in your limb.

If the stars and planets are aligned you’ll manage to get the damn thing on and breathe a sigh of satisfaction.  (But not too deep a sigh ’cause, you know, you’re all jammed up in this undergarment.)  You might think you’re home free, a sense of relief I haven’t experienced since the first time I wore a sports bra.  Because now I remember that there comes a point when you have to take the freaking thing off, which means throwing this whole process into reverse, a situation that’s a whole lot trickier once you’re exhausted and sweaty from exercising.

Now I’m not what you’d call a busty gal, but even I recognize how crucial this item of clothing is for any activity more strenuous than your average day.  The sports bra can be a massive pain in the neck shoulder back ass, but have you ever tried exercising in a regular bra?  I’m not talking about a super fancy, lacy, special event piece of lingerie – just a plain old, run of the mill, picked it up at the outlet bra.  There’s shifting and pinching and (if you’re really unlucky) the very real possibility of a boob popping out at an unfortunate moment.

And while boob explosions might seem like a plus to some, to most of us it’s a major faux pas in the public arena.  Which leads us back to sports bras.

The girls rely on a good sports bra to keep them in check, so this piece of athletic clothing isn’t really optional.  But seriously…there isn’t a better system than this?!

 

Christmas, mozzarella sticks, & the bossy supermarket lady

Seriously, this guy handled it way better than I probably would have…

Is there truly a war on Christmas? Let’s find out. 

My 4-year-old was told not to say, “Happy holidays.” Here’s how I responded. – Upworthy

ta-da! cake & balloon time!

Parenthood…sheesh.

There are a bazillion ways this feels like living in an alternate universe.  Sometimes up is down and down is up or the whole blessed thing’s turned inside out.  The ground seems to shift under my feet all the time, leaving me staggering around like a drunk on New Year’s.

(Gee, there’s a flattering comparison.)

At any rate, one of the many perplexing areas of responsibility dropped in a parent’s lap is the children’s birthday party.  It’s one of those things on a deadline – the kid’s born, and you pretty much have 364 days to decide on a Party Philosophy before your munchkin hits that magic first birthday.

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the grass is always greener

Parents are an odd breed.  When it comes to our kids it seems like we spend our time drowning, soaring, drifting, or pedaling furiously through their childhood stages.  Everyone’s able to agree that there is beauty and challenge in each stage, and yet…

Parents are definitely an odd breed.

Maybe it’s simply human nature to compare ourselves to those around us to see where we fall on the spectrum.   How great we have it, or how challenging our kids are.  How smoothly things are going, or how tough it is to be a parent.  Life is Good, or Life’s a…well, you get the picture.

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Do they have a “girls aren’t sex kittens” section?

We were prepared unusually early for Halloween this year.

Each fall we celebrate the appearance of a Halloween superstore in town.  Last year I learned the hard way that two adults are crucial to a successful (i.e. not leaving with a blinding headache) experience in this store.  Two kids, pulling in two different directions, looking for two costumes – the infallible logic of having two adults present escaped me in 2014, but not this time around.

This year, instead of pretending I didn’t notice the enormous NOW OPEN! sign out front, I dragged BrightSide along when the kids wanted to get their costumes.  In September.  For the love.

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